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I have an ugly duckling for a friend.You remember the childhood story of the ugly duckling. There are lots of versions but one tells of a black duckling in the community of white ducks. He so wanted to fit it. He did everything the other ducks did, but no matter what he did, he was still black and didn't fit in.
This duckling community is much like the local church today. Everyone does what they can do to fit in. If you are female and live in uppercrust Dallas, you are blond and have big hair. If you are male and live in California, you haven't worn a tie since before you first picked up a surf board. All of us dust off the Bible and take it to church with us. After all, it is important to fit in.
I find this innate desire to "fit in" a bit problematic. The Word says we each are uniquely and wonderfully made. It doesn't say we are all made the same or that we should become like everyone else. It actually encourages us to embrace our differences and complement each other with the strengths and gifts God uniquely gives each of us. We are different. God looks at us and says it is good.
My challenge to you is to view yourself as unique and different. Embrace the difference and use it to be the person God wants you to be. Quit trying to be someone else. Be yourself. Don't expect approval from most of the other white ducks. Do expect approval from our Father who art in heaven, as well as on earth.
As I visit some churches and ministries this weekend, I will remember I am a black duck and different. I will enjoy my difference and bless others regardless.
Join me in being the ugly duckling in your community of white ducks. Who knows, with time the white ducklings may see the advantages of being an ugly duckling and join you in the pond.